Racing Through Prague – Mongol Rally

August 3, 2011 8 Comments »


We drove into Prague after a cold night of camping. For all of us, this would be our first trip to this historic city. We had just secured a great apartment in the Jewish Quarter thanks to Prague-Stay apartments – a place where we could get a good night’s sleep, great internet, and a perfect spot for some very quick sightseeing. We only had one day in Prague – which is actually just a tease if you ask me. But then again, that’s what this whole trip is about – quickly racing through countries and cities I’ve never been to before, giving me a quick preview to see if I want to come back one day and see more.  The Rally is not actually a race…it’s a testament of will and ingenuity if you actually make it to the end.  But there is no prize for making it there first. However, my teammates and I all have other commitments to do in September, so we do have some self-imposed timeframes that we’ve given our team.  This means that we pretty much have to keep moving every day…and quickly.

Daniel from Prague-Stay Apartments met us and let us into our apartment. We ooo’d and aaah’d as we walked through the classic old Prague home with high ceilings, intricate French doors, and rod iron balconies overlooking the Jewish Quarter. Once again, this convinced me that with multiple people traveling together, staying in an apartment in the short term is the most economical way to travel. Daniel gave us maps and oriented us to our surroundings. We quickly took our bags, threw them in our palatial rooms, and took off for some touring around Prague.

Dave, Deb, and Rick went off on a Segway tour of Prague, and I took off for a bicycle tour of the city. Both tours are offered by After sitting in the car day after day, some exercise sounded good to me. However, I hadn’t counted on getting sick. I woke up that morning with a sinus headache and a hacking cough. And just think, my lucky teammates get to be locked in a small car with me for days hacking away!

My bike tour was a great way to get around the city fast. We saw some of the main sites and some of the more obscure sites too such as art installations by David Cerny that I never would have found on my own. The architecture of the city was what I enjoyed most; colorful, intricate buildings and grand theaters and churches. Everywhere we rode in the city was meticulously maintained and so many of the buildings had been refurbished. It was tourist heaven.

The bike tour was well run, yet the cobblestone streets provided some challenges for the less comfortable riders. Plus, dodging pedestrians and cars was a bit nerve-wracking, but overall I enjoyed the tour. We’d ride for about 5 minutes, and then we’d stop, and our guide would tell us about the history or importance of a place, often interjecting unique stories into his history lesson. If photography is your thing, though, I would probably recommend a slower walking tour of the city or simply go out early in the morning and wander around with your camera.

I spent the rest of my short time in Prague walking around the Old Town Square, coughing, sniffling, and looking for a pharmacy with no luck. However, I did find some yummy cabbage and pork pancakes, which are a Czech specialty. There’s certainly nothing light about the food in Eastern Europe. The one thing that did surprise me about Prague was how expensive it was. We entered the part of the globe where beer is cheaper than water.

Even though time was short I was able to get a feel for the city and know that I’d love to come back and spend more time digging into it’s culture outside of the tourist trail.  But Mongol Rally duty calls and we must keep moving!

What would you do if you had one day in Prague?  Please share in the comments!

All photos from my short Prague stay:

How to donate to our charity – the Christina Nobel Foundation – we are still collecting donations along the way!

Disclosure:  Our apartment in Prague was provided by and our tours were provided by   However, all of the opinions expressed here though are my own – as you know how I love to speak my mind!

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